Via Jinjur: It’s Miyazaki Movie Month on Turner Classic Movies! Hayao Miyazaki is one of my favorite animation film directors, probably best known in the U.S. for the somewhat tedious Princess Mononoke; I liked his followup Spirited Away much better, and of course his older films starting with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Castle in the Sky Laputa and Lupin III: Cagliostro Castle. They’ll be showing nine of his movies, including a couple that haven’t been shown here before.
What I like about Miyazaki’s work is his refusal to wimp out on what makes a stories ring true; he’s not one to provide loopholes for a sequel. His movies deal with themes of self-discovery, the ambiguous nature of right and wrong, inner strength, and choice. Lest you thing they’re all dull, he also infuses his movies with great action and characters. Some of the english dubbing is not-so-good, so it’s good that TCM will be broadcasting both dubbed and original language versions).
Every one of Miyazaki’s movies crackles in the portrayal of wonder. I also can’t think of another animation director that conveys the sense of flight and motion better than he, with a corresponding knack for action editing that is half-a-beat ahead of your expectations. He’s one of the best.
On the surface (particularly in his older work), it looks like simple animation intended for children. And yes, it is, if your kids can stand to face a little reality, violence, and ambiguity wrapped up in wonder. I’m up for a little of that myself.
If you like graphic novels, the manga version of Nausicaa is one of my all time favorite reads, approaching Dune in portraying what it is to lead. Either that or Watership Down…I can’t quite bring myself to pick one over the other.
A lot more information on Miyazaki can be found at the Nausicaa.net fansite.